The CTIA announced Wednesday that wireless data service revenue for 2006 rose to $15.2 billion. This represents a 77 percent increase over 2005, when data revenue was $8.6 billion.
Data revenue represents money that wireless carriers earn on services other than voice. Wireless data revenue now totals roughly 13 percent of all wireless service revenue.
“Wireless broadband is providing mobile subscribers with the ability to access content like never before,” said CTIA President and CEO Steve Largent. “Earlier this year, the Federal Communications Commission reported that 59 percent of all new high-speed lines were wireless. Wireless broadband is growing faster than cable and DSL combined and because of that fact subscribers are accessing new and exciting types of content on their mobile devices.”
The CTIA Semi-Annual Wireless Industry Survey also found that text messaging continues to be enormously popular, with more than 158 billion messages sent in 2006. This represents a 95 percent increase over 2005. Wireless subscribers are also sending pictures and other multimedia messages in droves, with more than 2.7 billion sent in 2006, up from 1.1 billion in 2005, CTIA said.
The foundation for these strong results is a near record increase in wireless subscribership. As of December, the industry survey recorded more than 233 million wireless users. This represents a year-over-year increase of more than 25 million. The industry’s 12-month record for subscriber growth was reached in 2005, when 25.7 million new users came online.
Another highlight of the survey includes wireless customers using more than 1.7 trillion minutes in 2006, up 20 percent over 2005, and generating more than $125 billion in total wireless revenue.